Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/07/13/what-america-needs-understand-about-capitalism
Hundreds of intelligent people with a platform have been trying to make the average American understand various simple of concepts for centuries. I have yet to hear of a single success.
What America really needs to understand about capitalism is that, because the corporate system is so entrenched, it is one-hundred-percent unsustainable and non-reformable.
Now, how 'bout them Cubbies, huh…?
(Well regulated non-hyper-financialized) Capitalism is OK as icing on the cake of Socialism. Roads, schools, justice, social (including housing, health and food) security, etc. being the core missions of the latter and choice of entertainment, gadgets, and all things optional being the core, although not the complete, of the former. First things first, though, and those are provided by socialism.
If politicians always destroy it, what makes us think they can fix it?
What you have to learn about Capitalism , is that if all of these rules and regulations need to be passed to make it fair and all manner of Social spending porgrams needed to properly distribute wealth , then Capitalsim is fundamentally broken.
If you got kids in the house and are worried about them being savaged by your vicious dog , rather than put a leash on that vicious dog and locking it in the backyard, maybe you should not have a vicious dog that would attack your kids?
Private property and property rights and the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few , both fundamental to Capitalism , are part of the problem not the solution.
Both capitalism and the so-called free market are incompatible with the future of our species. Their “bottom line” is money and money and the getting of it will continue to dominate. If profits come first, then everything else – things of real value like life, living things, children, the environment, and the future – are secondary. And, since money is power (more or less), the moneyed interests will continue to dominate. This system can’t be reformed. It’s got to be overturned.
ive been thinking lately why not just get rid of the office of the presidency all together ??!!
fuck it … why should 1 person have so much fucking power? it’s almost antithetical to direct democracy…
replace it with a another governing body that would have as many members as both the senate and house combined and whose members cannot accept any form of corporate funding and whose advertising must be free on TV and other forms of media
why don’t we just give the fuck up and accept that the US has been transformed into a far right fascist state…
things are never going to get better … everybody but the 1% is fucked
that’s about where im at
Come to America, where everyone is happy and free.
The basis of capitalism is investing in a profitable enterprise. To raise the money for investing, we’ve developed incredibly complex capital markets, including huge stock exchanges. The stock exchanges are useless for raising capital if a profitable enterprise can not attract investors based on the perceived potential for growth.
Growth in today’s resource depleted environment, will be impossible soon. Thus, the value of stock markets will inevitably plunge.
The private property issue is often quickly weaponized to dispense with questions about its social value. It immediately proceeds to commie baiting.
The private property right, if one is so fortunate, to own your own small home for your family, and a little postage stamp of property, are a no brainer.
But what is missed intentionally is that large accumulations of capital allow individuals and corporations to buy whatever property they want, and as much property as they want, according to the authoritarian power and rules of the free market. Given the massive advantage wealth gives the few, this part of the private property issue lays bare the serious inequality and injustice of a poorly regulated private property principle - socially dysfunctional, even criminal, though legalized!
Actual example : a not-for-profit seniors residence with some the cheapest fees is purchased by a wealthy real estate developer. The plan - make it into expensive condos. The seniors, many of which have little money, are now being kicked out, and given the very limited options available, many will be in great difficulty. Despite all the political rhetoric and dedications to housing, this version of private property is clearly against the social interest, and, wait for it, often against the very political principles that ‘centrist’ parties endorse.
Neither the legal system and free market capitalism nor authoritarian politics using this latter form of private property entitlements should be allowed to continue for one more minute. Voting center produces injustices like this.
How sad that most of the seniors in this building probably voted regularly for the parties that cannibalize them and sell them out to the wealthy. Such is the pervasive social ignorance that does not realize how its political choices produce the same problems, over and over, decade after decade. Voting against ourselves, we become victims of an extremist ideology.
Another excellent article from project syndicate.
How about getting rid of the ‘United’ of ‘United States of America’? If we were broken up like Secy. of Treasury Morganthau proposed to do to Germany, would the world and we the people be better off? Direct democracy works best locally.
Stock markets are an elaboration to brokerage of real estate and businesses. While growth in profits certainly may disappear, the saga of Pops getting too old to run the burger business, and the kids aren’t interested or don’t have the aptitude for it, so Pops will sell the business, that isn’t going away.
An example within our experience is the Walt Disney co. They are going to continue making movies, even if revenues don’t increase year over year, until movies cease to be profitable at all. After Walt died the company was run for a few years by the husband of Walt’s daughter. The company didn’t do well, so control of it was shifted to Walt’s brother Roy. The details of the shift can be looked up somewhere. When Roy retired Roy Jr. didn’t want to run it, but he still kept his hand in. He was the one who found Michael Eisner to run it, and then years later when Eisner had passed his “sell by” date, Roy Jr. led the rebellion that ousted Eisner.
There are interactions, facilitated by a stock market, in shifting control of businesses according to changing times and changing persons to run them.
The bottom line from posters here is that capitalism only works for the 1%.
The other common thread is that we need new leadership to fix this unbalanced system. Apparently TPTB don’t want it fixed. That could be the reason for a two term limit for president.
America slow walks it’s legislation to the point where, if something finally gets passed, the next president on board throws a monkey wrench into the whole effort and we end up with nothing. On the other hand, can we trust ANYONE with 12 or 16 years in office without mega or MAGA corruption setting in? For gosh sakes, worse than it already is?
The problem with capitalism is that it is premised on the profit motive (“greed is good” as Gordon Gecko finalized it), which means, quite simply, that it rewards psychopathy. You can wax philosophical about how nobody really “has” to be that way, but that does not change the well-established fact that 2-3% of the population qualifies as psychopaths according to Psychopathy Checklist and they don’t care squat about your philosophy. It is patently obvious that the innate ruthlessness of psychopaths and the fact that “winning” in the marketplace feeds their narcism like nothing else means that they will always be disproportionately wealthy, and a rich psychopath (know of any?) can wreak incredible havoc on our Republic by virtue of the power that money gives one to influence political outcomes. You can also proclaim that all this can be held in check by regulations, but history (can you guess what I’m thinking about here?) is most certainly not on the side of such claims: An oligarchy of rich psychopaths will always find a way to circumvent whatever regulations you do manage to get passed, no matter how much you may pray for a better outcome. And finally, although it is not known to just what extent psychopathy is hereditary, there is no doubt it is to some degree, and good luck passing an inheritance tax that won’t lead to entire lineages of psychopaths (try again, harder!). In short, democracy and capitalism are inherently antagonistic, and why the hell am I the only one who’s saying this?
Quite a few people have reached that same conclusion and there seems to be more and more articles circulating that correctly points out the blatant sociopathy displayed by our rulers.
There seem to be a mass awakening happening, just in time for the climate apocalypse.
i will plead allot of ignorance on your post … maybe you can explain further
i DO understand your remark about “How about getting rid of the ‘United’ of ‘United States of America” which i agree with
sorry but i don’t really understand the rest of your post … can you please elaborate?
Been there for a very long time. The thing is, I’m not unhappy and I’m not angry. Of course I empathize with the downtrodden and do what I can to help, but I’ve pretty much reduced my focus to my own personal sphere of influence. Not because I don’t care. Because reality is what it is. As The Police sang almost forty years ago, “There is no political solution to our troubled evolution.” Was true then. Is true now.